Internet 404 Error Pages Used to Find Missing Kids

Dennis Faas's picture

A new campaign is designed to make better use of 404 Page Not Found error messages. Some of those messages, which appear when an Internet website cannot be located, are to be accompanied with photos of missing children from around the world.

This "NotFound project" is the work of a coalition of various international organizations, including Missing Children Europe, Child Focus, and the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children.

2012's Milk Carton Message

Even though Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have in the past helped locate missing children, many are calling this endeavor the 'milk carton campaign of 2012,' in reference to the established practice of placing the faces of missing children on the side of milk cartons.

But with billions of people using the Internet daily, these virtual posters will be able to reach vastly more people than milk cartons ever could. (Source:

In addition to providing the name and image of the lost child, the NotFound project will also add snippets of code to these customized pages so they can display additional information about the missing youngster.

The project aims to utilize the massive Child Focus database and showcase a mix of recent and past disappearances.

With so many children missing since the advent of the Internet, many hope these children-turned-adults will recognize themselves in these 404 error message mentions and help close cases from years gone by.

A website ( has already been established to act as a central hub for the campaign. The site encourages people and businesses to download a file that will place on any third-party website's "not found" error message a box with a missing person's picture and some biographical information.

Hundreds of Sites On Board with Plan

An estimated 480 websites have already signed up to have photos of missing children displayed on their 404 Page Not Found error pages.

These sites include some high-profile, European companies. However, the group urges anyone with a website to incorporate the NotFound code. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet